Congratulations to all those involved in the fantastic achievement of winning the Green Ribbon Award 2016 for “Protecting our Biodiversity”. Groundtruth has been involved with this exciting project for some years. Collaborative and innovative, the Uawanui Project has taken a whole-community approach to improving the environmental health of the Kaituna Estuary, by managing the activities in the catchment that impact on the estuary – a “mountains-to-sea” approach.

Input from marae, iwi, individuals, business, primary industries, landowners and schools has developed a project that enables the community to manage the catchment in their everyday activities, with direct benefits to both the community’s and the environment’s health. Activities have included trapping pests, weed control, planting and monitoring. Creative thinking has led to planting of seeds from Cook’s first collections, transit of Venus celebrations, and archaeological investigations – building on the area’s history, and adding to the local community’s knowledge of their culture and where they have come from.